On Children, Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
I struggle for words a little after reading that; it sums up so beautifully how with each of my daughters I have let a piece of my heart become entirely separate from me and go wondering around without me. They are the very best of me (and sometimes the not so best too); two tiny powerhouse personalities that I love unconditionally and try to guide gently along their paths. Is it any surprise that I seem to spend half my time revelling in their company and taking a gazillion pictures, and the other half recording this extraordinary ordinary?
I write about the things that we do, the beauty of our days, and for 2014 I’ve got a new focus. Living Arrows, the magic of childhood captured in 52 slivers of our lives. I never could resist.
And so I’m starting with one of the biggest magics of all.
It’s something you never forget, the feeling of your hair pushed back by the breeze, that sense that if you dared to let go of the chain you could reach all the way to the edge of the sky, and the lurch in your stomach as you turn to come down again and for a split second, you’re entirely weightless, soaring through the air on invisible wings.
“Push higher Daddy! Higher!” she says,
until with glowing cheeks, and eyes sparkling in the tail end of the daylight she giggles:
and then “Uh-oh. My wellies!”
It doesn’t matter about your wellies sweetest, or your hat that flew off long ago and was rescued in an intrepid feat of dart-and-grab by your Daddy. In this moment we know we have all the treasures of the world in front of us.